I have to decide this week on which fraternity I want to join. Fraternity A has welcomed me to every event they have had this summer, and I made great bonds with 90% of the guys on a personal level. They are people that I know I’ll be best friends with, they have a great rep on campus and they will charter after my class comes in. If I join them I will be a founding father and won’t have to go through pledgeship.
Now with fraternity B I haven’t spent as much time with them but they are the best leaders on campus. They have a hand in every on campus organization and they’re already getting me interviews in the student congress. They have great offers and connections and the guys I met are really cool. B has a great rep as well and has been on campus for a while. I’m torn and don’t know what to do, please help me.
I cannot answer for sure which fraternity will be better for you. I don’t know the reasons why you are joining a fraternity and what you are looking to get out of the experience.
I do know you are going through the process the right way. You have visited at least two chapters, which is critical. I recommend visiting three in my book – How to Join a Fraternity – but two is very good.
And it looks like you are in a no-lose situation. Both fraternities have a lot going for them.
If I were in your shoes, Fraternity A would appeal to me more. The strength of a chapter is the quality of the relationships you have with your brothers. It sounds like you have already started forming those strong bonds which will lead to a rewarding fraternity experience.
Also, I would find it appealing to help start a fraternity. Joining a colony is a great challenge, but will give you opportunities that you cannot get in an established chapter. This is a great test and education in leadership.
That being said, that is just me. You are different and probably have different interests.
I think a good litmus test is which group of guys do you prefer to be with? Do you look forward to visiting one house more than the other? Are you more comfortable in one? If so, follow your gut. It won’t lead you wrong.
Is it possible to get voted out during pledgeship? And I don’t mean by breaking the rules, simply by decision of the brothers.
Yes. The brothers will typically hold a vote on you to decide if they want to initiate you or not during your pledge period. They can kick you out at this time.
That being said, it is rare to get kicked out. Most chapters are struggling with numbers, and are willing to take a chance on a guy they aren’t 100% sold on. It’s a shame this is a practice, because accepting marginal guys into a chapter gives a short-term boost in membership levels, but hurts the chapter long-term.
It hurts the chapter because lower quality members eventually deteriorate the entire organization. It will become harder to recruit because these members will put-off future recruits. It will also hurt the brotherhood because brothers will not want to hang out with these marginal guys.
It is very strange to be thinking about getting kicked out before you even join the fraternity. This is something out of your control. What you can control is being the best new member you can be. If you do that, you will have a rewarding fraternity experience.
This question was submitted by one of our readers. If you have a question you want me to answer go here to submit it: Fraternity Advice.